Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Doing a free fall

from "the edge of space" is madness. To do it and survive is nothing short of miraculous as well.
Why anyone would want to do something like that is beyond my comprehension. The "because it's there" or, in this case, "because I want to" argument seems strange to me. Yes, Everest is there. Someone else has climbed. They have shown it can be done. There is no need to do it again - if there was any need to do it the first time.
But, like exploring foreign places, people do want to do these things. The plumber who is going to replace the leaking hot water tank at our place clearly gets a similar adrenalin rush from riding his motor bike. My nephews get one from racing go-karts at very high speeds around race-tracks. I know people who have been ballooning, parachuted from aircraft, bungy-jumped and gone white-water rafting or caving. It seems that anything which could be classed as "dangerous" gives some people a thrill.
I think I can live without any of those things.
Then there are other things that give people an adrenalin rush as well.  A publishers' agent I know says that negotiating book deals gives her an adrenalin rush. A magician my father knows says that performing (something he does on the international circuit) gives him an adrenalin rush. I am not good at hard negotiations and I hate performing in public. I think I can live without that sort of thing as well.
I was talking to one of our local politicians yesterday. He was out and about talking to people in a casual way. He does that sometimes in the belief it makes him a better and more accessible local member. He may be right. Even people who vote the other way seem to think he is doing a reasonable job. He mentioned the space jump to me and said,
        "He didn't need to go to such lengths. All he had to do was get himself elected to parliament."
Is that why they do it?


Anonymous said...

What a weird statement!

Anonymous said...

Ha, I know who that was! Told me, "Fierce debate on the floor of the house is one long adrenalin rush." They're all mad Cat! Chris

Miriam Drori said...

I think there are very few politicians who don't do it to win the race, win the debate, go down in the history books. Today more than ever.

JO said...

I've had people ask me the same question. I've not jumped from space (though have done 3 parachute jumps - what fun that was!), and am no politician.

But the day it dawned on my that I could go travelling on my own was the day I knew I had to do it - for the thought of sitting by the fire when I'm 80 and saying, 'I wish I had ...' That would be much worse than facing scary bits now!